6700 w/Many Panadaptors - Bootcamp, Parallels 9, or Fusion 6?

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I want to use my 2014 Mac Pro for 8-panadaptor 6700 duty.  I plan a long, interesting relationship with multi-band VHF/UHF contest simultaneous band monitoring and digital voice + JT-modes experimentation.

I've read dozens of threads saying Boot Camp is the only way and/or that Parallels or Fusion are just the ticket.  I'm thoroughly confused.

I hate what happens to Windows machines after a few ill-advised (only in retrospect) downloads like an open-source Office substitute.  On OSX, malware is 15-20 dB less problematic.  Boot Camp forces all web browsing and document reading into the Windows environment.  Theoretically, a virtual machine environment could isolate all non-Flex action in OSX to general benefit.

My Mac is outfitted thus:

3.7GHz quad-core with 10MB of L3 cache

16GB (4x4GB) of 1866MHz DDR3 ECC

256GB PCIe-based flash storage

Dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs with 3GB of GDDR5 VRAM each

Which path should I take?????

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Mike - W8MM

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Posted 4 years ago

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Photo of Bob G   W1GLV


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Allan , I'm running a Mac mini with 4 gigs of memory with Parallels. Being new to the Mac world but knowing quite a bit about computers, I find that Parallels does a good job using only 1 gig of memory. Bootcamp is not a VM but rather a set of software running Windows in a protected partition. My 6500 under parallels for 5 days with no hiccups at all.
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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I've used Parallels and Fusion with good results. Allows the pleasure of OS X apps, including logging (MacloggerDX) and the compatibility with Windows for SSDR and my digital apps (WSJT-X and Fldigi). Your MacPro should handle it admirably. My 2009 MP with 24 Gb RAM handles it easily. Video cards are key, and it looks like you're running in style there, too.

Both VMs are good. Both also have free trial periods, so try them both! Good luck.
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Don - kx9q

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Were you running any digital modes in the VMs?  I had a terrible signal in the digital mode (PSK) using either VM.  If I recall, voice and cw was ok.  I have a 27" iMac with 16gb of memory.  The other thing I noticed was the usage of available memory when running a VM.  Sometimes I see only about 500mb available after running a VM for a while.  Do you have any particular settings you use for memory management, etc?

Don - kx9q
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Yes, I run WSJT-x and Fldigi in the VM without issue. I'm away from the shack a lot, and run my Mac via VNC from all over, and operate the digital modes exclusively that way. I'd suggest checking the DAX settings if you're having audio troubles, also, give the VM as much horsepower as you can. 8 Gb RAM, 1 Gb video RAM, and 4 cores is where I've settled. Running with low FPS in the SSDR helps, as does closing the waterfall. Anything you can do to reduce processor load will probably help. Each system will have a sweet spot.

Good luck!